Before you get excited, no. No, you will not see anything near this smart in the United States, land of Screw It. Carmichael Lynch, Harley-Davidson's Agency of Record, dreams it was this savvy. Plus the brand managers, a.k.a. bane of creative directors, who work for the US division of Harley-Davidson would likely hyperventilate in sheer panic at the thought of approving work this whip-smart, funny, stereotyping and contentious all at the same time. This brief campaign came from Ogilvy's South African branch, and is easily the smartest work we've seen since Grey's famed You Meet the Nicest People campaign in 1962 for Honda.



All three images are taken from the view-point of the rider on a random street, possibly at a stop light in some suburban setting. As you've noticed, there are two glaring omissions these print ads. The product is never shown, nor is there a single line of copy to sell the product. In the US, omitting either would be considered highly risqué, and the lack of both could be suicidal for an agency. But it utterly works for Harley in this case, and that's because the image says it all. Along with the little logo discreetly placed in the lower corner.

Baby boomer nostalgia is perfectly grasped here, subtly using period sets and naturally lit photography reminiscent of classic reportáge. The crying baby, the leery old lady and the mad barking shepard below all allude to the image of the archetypal outlaw biker the Harley brand mystique is so entrenched in. All three ads convey the fear of the onlooker in the presence of the biker on a Harley-Davidson. However the expressions of the baby and the old lady go beyond the call of duty and are actually funny.


Quite frankly, in the motorcycle industry, this is


and lifestyle


at its finest. You know, Harley, Ogilvy & Mather happens to be based here in New York City.

Maybe you could give them a ring sometime?



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